Discussion: The Great Holiday Photography Competition

And here you have it. I officially declare that Great Holiday Photography Competition open.

Below you will find the first list of subjects, the rules, the criteria and some helpful info.
Submissions open on December 1st. There will be a dedicated thread for submissions only and a separate one for discussions. That way we’ll build one thread full of nothing but photos.

The first set of subjects:

  • Candles
  • Bread
  • Holiday Food
  • December Weather
  • Christmas Lights / Holiday Lights
  • Aerial shot of Your Neighbourhood
  • Shopping!
  • “I don’t like Christmas”

The second set of subjects:

  • Gifts for the Holidays
  • Toy Soldiers
  • Family
  • Cookies for Santa
  • Holiday Office Party
  • Opening Presents
  • Celebrating 2010
  • Fireworks

The third (and final) set of subjects:

  • A Big Clean Up
  • “Party’s Over…”
  • Yummy Leftovers
  • Charity / Kindness
  • Surprise!
  • Yellow
  • A Pleasant Evening Outdoors with Friends
  • Still Dancing

What the prizes will be awarded for:

  1. Best overall quality - The person whose photos were most consistently good.
  2. Best individual photo - The one, most stunning photo of the whole contest.
  3. Special topics - Just submitting valid photos for the topics in red would be awarded because they’re difficult.
  4. 100% - A special prize for anyone who submits valid photos for all twenty-four topics.

The Prizes
Best Overall: Hard copy book of your choice, e-book of your choice, I <3 HTML coffee mug and SitePoint t-shirt
Best Individual: Hard copy book of your choice, e-book of your choice, I <3 HTML coffee mug and SitePoint t-shirt
Red Topics: e-book of your choice and I <3 HTML coffee mug
100%: Hard copy book of your choice, e-book of your choice, and I <3 HTML coffee mug

The Rules:

Photos must be shot and submitted between December 1st, 2010 to January 16th, 2011.

No goofy Photoshop effects or overdone photo-manipulation. Entrants are allowed to correct colour, contrast, and make minor tweaks such as removing litter or distracting objects from a photo, but no surreal colours or crazy filters.

Pointers to Note:
Although we’ll be posting topics in batches, you are free to shoot and submit photos from any batch at any time before January 16th. They don’t need to be submitted in order, and the only deadline you have is the final deadline.

Although the topics are mostly holiday themed, any photograph submitted that describes the particular topic is valid. If the topic is “wine”, for instance, the photo doesn’t need to be “holiday” wine; A beautiful photo of a glass of wine is perfectly valid.

Photograph size: 900 - 2000 px length for the longer side of the photograph. DPI doesn’t matter. JPG or PNG. Adding your name or a small, undestructive watermark to your images is recommended. Please upload as attachments or the submission thread will start taking forever to load.

Photographs will remain the property of the photographer, and all copyrights will belong to the photographer.
Sitepoint does request permission to publish photos submitted for this competition onto our Facebook Page and blog though, and for the sole purpose of promoting this competition and announcing its winners.

Breaking News!
Paul Duncanson, the author of our book Photography for the Web has agreed to come on as our special guest judge. Alongside Paul on the judging panel is our very own Shaun(OfTheDead).

So now it’s our time to work :slight_smile:

I’m wondering where I’ll get the air plane from… hope some cheating in the aerial neighbourhood is possible as far as my neighbourhood houses are so flat that I can’t really shoot it from the top.

You could use a plane if you have access to one; you could use a roof if there’s one high enough. Or you could try some other approach… [URL=“http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2007/03/worlds_cheapest/”]Getting altitude is easy. (Getting the photos down is a bit harder.)

I saw the article about the balloon and the camera, but I’m afraid I love my DSLR too much to let it fly without the absolute knowing of it returning to earth in perfect conditions :wink:

But there are still some days ahead, so I’ll try to come up with something less risky for my camera and still within the conditions of the contest.

I wouldn’t send my DSLR up on a suicide mission either (it’d be too heavy anyway) but there are a vast number of cheap, used point and shoot cameras littering eBay. Get something cheap and expendable, turn the shutter speed up to 11 to kill the blur and just toss it up in the air until it breaks or you get a good shot.

I’m not trying to tell you how to get the shot but just tossing out ideas to hint that maybe there’s more than one way to do it. Kites and balloons and parachutes and gliders and trebuchets and tall buildings and long sticks and trained birds and ladders and ferris wheels might not all be available near your neighbourhood, but some option could well be within your reach and your budget.

Paul you’re quite a good shoot for creativity :slight_smile:

Other ways could be recreating the neighbourhood in miniature, so I can really shoot from a high view and control the composition…

The main thing I wanted to know, though, is that if neighbourhood should be understood literally. I live in Barcelona (Spain) in a neighbourhood not easy for aerial view, but certainly there are other areas of Barcelona more accessible for that pictures to be possible. And as far as I don’t really have a sense of being from one place or another… well, I just wandered if it was possible to consider neighbourhood any familiar area within your city.

One of my photography teachers used to challenge her students to show her something she had never seen before. If we couldn’t do that, we should aim to show her something more familiar in a way she had never seen it. That latter option definitely included the possibility of a radically different interpretation of the theme to what she had in mind when she assigned it.

Also, a great image that only slightly fit the theme would always get a better mark than an image that perfectly fit the theme but was otherwise just OK. In any collection of photos in a class or a competition with a theme there will be a fair proportion of fairly predictable approaches to the topic. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some, maybe all, of those predictable shots will be pleasant to look at. Some might even be superbly executed. It’s the ones that aren’t predictable, that stand out from the crowd, that will be noticed and remembered.*

Rather than wondering what the judges’ idea of your neighbourhood is, show everyone your idea of it.

  • They might not be rewarded - it depends on the judges - but at some point you have to choose if you’re in it to win prizes or if you’re in it to make images you like (with prizes as a possible bonus).

:lol: This is where I’ll step in and introduce Paul to you all.

Paul is the very talented author of our book Photography for the Web and I am super excited to announce that he has agreed to come on as our special guest judge.

Alongside Paul on the judging panel is our very own, very talented Shaun(OfTheDead).

I took some brilliant pictures (im sure) when i was on holiday, but i did’nt get the chance to see as my bag was stolen allong with my camera and film :frowning:


Help - I’m lost :bawling:

I can’t find the thread where we can upload photos for this competition. (it’s Dec 1 where I live)

Somebody please point me in the right direction :blush:

Also, I am still on L plates (and that’s L for learner and not L for loser before anyone jumps in ;)) regarding uploading image attachments.

On the 1 or 2 occassions where I have uploaded an image with a post all I ever seem to see is a little icon to click near the bottom left hand corner of the post and not the image displayed within the post text.

What I normally do is

  1. upload the image by following the prompts after clicking the “Manage Attachments” button.

That works ok.

  1. then I place the cursor where I want to insert the image within the post text.

  2. I then click the paper clip icon in the post editor’s tool bar and select the image I just uploaded but it never gets inserted where the cursor is in 2)

What am I doing wrong.

Thank you for your help :slight_smile:

Sorry for my slackness, the submissions thread is here.

To upload a file you select Manage Attachments, Choose File, Upload.
Once you’ve done that, scroll to the bottom of the window and close it.
That’s all you need to do. It will then need to be released from a moderation queue.

ok thanks :slight_smile:

[FONT=“Georgia”]No worries.

They are some cool snaps, though. I like the ones looking down the walkways.

Maybe you can do some of those for us this month for the competiton?

Look at the topics HAWK posted and see how you can translate them into what you already know you can do[/FONT] :slight_smile:


yep, will do :slight_smile:

It might be a good idea to indicate the category of the photos submitted? Or is it up to the judges to decide in what category they want to put them?

Take the photos by [URL=“http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4751557&postcount=4”]kirschna for example. What’s the topic?

In the example by kirschna, the category is in the file name. I think, since there’s a prize for submitting something for every category, the photographer should nominate the category each photo is intended to be in. Candles, after all, could easily be Christmas lights.

good idea :slight_smile:

and what about also submitting each batch of photos in a single post rather than a separate post for each image - just my :twocents:

Ok, I missed that :slight_smile:

I’m replying to this (post from jaagare - post 5) in here because the rules also say that the submission thread is only for photos and that any comments should be made in this thread :smiley:

Anyway, as I posted with the pics, I realised as I was posting them that only photos taken after day 1 of the comp are eligible and so I know my photos aren’t eligible for any prizes.

I suppose the moderators have the option to delete or leave them there.

I feel like the test bunny here!

And in future I will load images in one post … honest.